Health and Safety - Only Use Tools and Equipment as Intended
A number of health and safety incidents take place due to equipment being used in a way that it was never designed or intended to be used in. Any safeguards or protection on tools will be there to protect the operator or those nearby when it is being used as it was intended, but by using it in a different way these safeguards are likely to be rendered ineffective, increasing the risk of injury.
Not only can safety features be rendered useless, but using equipment incorrectly can also introduce new dangers which would otherwise not be present if it was being used properly.
The most likely reason for using tools or equipment in this way is usually one of two things:-
Firstly, it can be because the right equipment is not available for the worker to use. Whether it is down to a lack of forward planning, an unexpected change in the work needing to be carried out, the correct equipment breaking, or management cutting costs by not spending money on the right tools, workers may be instructed to 'make do or improvise' with what they have got.
Alternatively, the right tools and equipment may be available but it may be located a short distance away and the worker is too lazy to go and fetch it. Similar to a person on a ladder over-reaching rather than getting down, moving the ladder and going back up again, laziness or trying to save time by using what is to hand rather than fetching the right tool has been a cause of many injuries to people, ranging from minor ones to major ones and even death in some instances.
So whilst it may be tempting to save time or money by using the wrong tools or equipment, the risks to health are not worth it.